“Print4All is an excellent venue to showcase Asahi’s broad range of flexographic plate solutions,” states Andrea Belloli, Italian Branch Manager, of Asahi Photoproducts. “We’ll be showing our widely popular AWP™ water-washable plates, along with our AFP™-TOP and AFP™-TSP plates, all of which feature Clean Transfer Technology for the exceptional quality and overall equipment efficiency (OEE) leading converters demand in a highly competitive marketplace. Clean Transfer Technology, unique to Asahi, is also designed to facilitate the Fixed Colour Palette printing process that is increasingly being adopted by converters all across Europe. We will also have available our new AFP™-DTH/TH plates designed for use under tough printing conditions such as under high printing pressure or with abrasive substrates. Visitors to our stand will also be able to see printed application examples and get advice from our experts about the best plates for their individual needs.”
Fixed Colour Palette printing uses a fixed palette of up to seven inks to virtually eliminate the need for spot colour inks. Because it uses a fixed set of inks, there is no wash-up required between jobs, and combo jobs are made easier. In addition, there is significantly less waste in the printing process, improving throughput and productivity. Asahi plates with Clean Transfer Technology deliver consistent ink transfer throughout the run, required to implement this printing process successfully.
At the show …
Featured at All4Print on the Asahi stand will be:
- AWP™ DEF/DEW, a unique platemaking technology that is a beneficial alternative to conventional flexographic plates. These Clean Transfer Technology plates feature a water washable plate technology that eliminates the need for high temperatures or VOC solvents in the plate making process, delivering precise plate-to-plate registration especially ideal for Fixed Colour Palette printing and with reduced odour in the plate making process. AWP™ plates save time and money, reduce waste and assist in preserving precious energy resources while delivering stunning quality with brilliant images.
- AFP™-TOP, a hard premium digital flexo plate that delivers a broad colour gamut and soft tonal shades fading out to zero. Asahi‘s AFP™-TOP incorporates Clean Transfer Technology with a kiss touch printing pressure setting that facilitates constant repeatability of printing quality during the production run, longer plate life and fewer cleaning intervals and press stop downtimes. These plates are compatible with many of the recent high definition screening technologies such as Crystal and others.
- AFP™-TSP, a medium-hard digital flexo plate optimised for a wide range of packaging substrates, from paper, folding carton and pre-print corrugated to flexible packaging and foil. Asahi’s AFP™-TSP plate is designed to deliver homogeneous ink laydown and is perfect for both halftone and solid printing. Combine these plates with AFP™-TOP plates to deliver a fine, smooth gradation towards zero, increasing the range of applications that can be transferred to flexo from other printing technologies.
- AFP™-TH/DTH, a robust, solvent-wash photopolymer plate with a strengthened polymer structure based on Asahi’s proprietary polymer technology. While it does not feature Clean Transfer Technology, this plate achieves excellent printing quality in even the toughest flexographic printing environments and with highly abrasive substrates. The plate is available for either analogue (TH) or digital (DTH) systems.
Voice of the Customer
Gateway Packaging, a leading high-end printer/ packaging converter and the largest pet food packaging provider in North America, recently restructured its entire platemaking process with Asahi Photoproducts solutions as the core element. The company performed extensive testing that led up to the final decision. “When running the Asahi Clean Transfer plates,” explained Tharrin Akers, the company’s Prepress Manager, “we were able to run the press at a 17% higher speed – 1,640 feet per minute (500 m/min.) – and only had to stop for plate cleaning once. And that only required cleaning two plates, consuming 20 minutes. The result was a total production time of 7.2 hours instead of 11 hours in the past and an astonishing 53% improvement in Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) over our previous process.”
Clean Transfer Technology: The Details
A feature of many of Asahi’s flexographic printing plates, Clean Transfer Technology enables a clean ink transfer and prevents ink accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas. This leads to fewer cleaning intervals and reduced press downtime, as well as significant quality improvements. Precise plate register achieved with Asahi AWP™ plates ensures very high quality process printing with a fixed colour palette, minimizing the need to use and manage spot colour inks.
Clean Transfer Technology allows a kiss-touch printing pressure setting. It makes use of low plate surface tension, made possible by a specially engineered Asahi polymer chemistry, to inhibit liquid flow. The ink forms a globule, with a large contact angle and high pinning point. This results in a cleaner and more homogeneous ink transfer from plate to substrate, helping flexographic printers meet the ever-increasing quality demands of their customers.